Seriously, this man... Don't get me started. Last time, The Odyssey; this time, Henry V. Mancrush achieved.
Will nothing stop Tom Hiddleston’s geek-crush level from rising? After his striking, bright-eyed turns in a variety of films, from a cringe-inducing, well-meaning upper class chap in Archipelago, to F Scott Fitzgerald in Woody Allen’s Midnight In Paris, he’s only gone and done it again with his darker, more troubled reprisal of Loki in The Avengers.
And, as if that’s not enough, last week he wrote an article for The Guardian, praising contemporary superhero movies as ‘the pinnacle of cinema’, modern-day equivalents of mythology and morality tales. This actor, it seems, is quite the believer in the power of the comic book movie.
At the Avengers press junket that same morning, we had the chance to quiz Hiddleston about the article, as well as his mould-breaking career so far, and the projects he has lined up in the future.
Do you feel quite lucky to have broken out of the well-spoken, prim British mould by getting the role of Loki? It’s certainly not the Jane Austen-y type of role usually given to well-spoken, classically trained Brits.
It was completely different. I hope that the person you see sitting in front of you... I’m not obvious casting for Loki. I don’t have long, greasy black hair. It was funny, because I think it took a while for Marvel to come around to the idea, too, because I initially auditioned to play Thor. That was what I was being considered for, because I’m tall and blonde and classically trained, and that seemed to be the mould for what Thor was, he was to be a classical character. And it was in my auditions. I owe this entirely to Marvel and their open-mindedness, they saw something that they thought was interesting. They saw some temperament that they liked.
It was one of those things where [Kenneth] really couldn’t have given it to me on a plate, it was just going to cost too much money. So the people who hold the purse strings need to make sure that the money is being spent properly. It’s a big movie, it’s a big blockbuster, that’s a lot of responsibility. So I auditioned and auditioned, just like Chris Hemsworth did, both of us. It took us both four months to get the roles.
But I knew I had an advocate in Kenneth Branagh, because we had worked on television together, we’d worked on stage. And that is really where we got to know each other. When you act with someone on stage, there’s no hiding place. You see who somebody is, you see what makes them tick. You see their process, their professionalism. It is a job that we do and Ken and I just really connected.
So I knew that he trusted me and I trusted him, and we had the same taste. We’re in this business for the same reasons, because we just love it. Love cinema, love acting, love stories and characters. So when push came to shove, and Marvel were thinking, I hope, that I was an interesting prospect, then Ken was probably able to say ‘you can trust him on this’.
Read the full interview here.